4

When I translate this sentence "The stone could be anywhere." into Japanese, How can I do that?

I asked a native English speaker this meaning, he said it means "The stone can only be in one place but the possibilities are not limited and instead include the entire universe."

A word "anywhere" in an affirmative sentence is translated as どこにでも in dictionaries, so if I follow dictionaries, it would be translated as どこにでもあるだろう、but it means "The stone could be everywhere", doesn't it? So I think it should be translated as "どこかにあるだろう".

What do you think about this?

In addition context, this stone is "the Stone of Scone", on which Scotland King sat in ancient times and stolen by England.

  • 1
    "どこかにある" means: (the stone) is somewhere. – fefe Sep 4 '17 at 3:03
  • Probably you feel it's a little bit strange to imagine that the stone could be anywhere in the entire universe. Even if you are told to be able to pick up any point in space, It's hard to imagine the stone is on the top of your head, right? So, maybe sometimes you can use anywhere as somewhere. Further reference:english.stackexchange.com/questions/19364/… – user25382 Sep 4 '17 at 4:16
  • 1
    I think this question is very interesting as probably most of Japanese learners, when asked how to translate "could be anywhere" in Japanese, would never think of どこにでもあるだろう. Rather, they would probably try to use "standard grammatical constructions" and come up with stuff like どこにでも有れる or other stuff that maybe wouldn't make sense to native speakers. – Tommy Sep 4 '17 at 4:35
  • 1
    @Tommy れる/られる only describes one's ability, which is not the case here. – naruto Sep 4 '17 at 5:16
  • @naruto yeah I know that, but I'm just saying that that might be indeed a subtle point from a non-native/learner point of view. – Tommy Sep 4 '17 at 5:18
5

固い表現でよくて他の文脈で意図を補足できるなら「その石はどこにでもありうる」でいいのかもしれませんが、普通のこなれた表現でいくなら「その石はどこにあってもおかしくない」でいかがでしょう。

"the stone" と言っている以上、「石ころなんて地面を見たらどこにでもある」と言いたいのではなく、特定の「石」の所在について話題にしているのですよね。そのネイティブスピーカーが言う通り、「その石自体は1個しかないはずだけど、存在する場所はまったく不明だ」という文脈が想定されます。

従って、「その石はどこにでもあるだろう」は誤解を受けやすく、むしろ「その石はどこかに(は)あるのだろう」の方が近いと思います。ただこれだとちょっと無責任にも聞こえるので、「どこにあってもおかしくない」のような言い方の方がニュアンスとして近いことが多いかな、と思います。

言うまでもありませんが、文脈によります。その「石」が、(「神の愛」とか「フロギストン」とか「暗黒物質」とかのように)直接認識しづらくともあらゆる場所に同時普遍的に存在する可能性があるモノなのであれば、「その石はどこにでもあるのかもしれない」といった訳が理論上はあり得ると思います。

| improve this answer | |
  • Thank you for your helpful answer. どうもありがとうございます。とても勉強になります。 – Yuuichi Tam Sep 4 '17 at 8:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.